After each episode of Project Runway 's seventh season, a gaggle of Slatesters gather to dish about the show. This week, the designers had to design their own textiles and then create original looks using those textiles. Emilio Sosa was the winner; Anthony Williams was sent home.
David Plotz: Those PR producers certainly know how to suck the joy out of the show, killing off Amy and Anthony in consecutive weeks. Anthony's Southern Queen act had grown on me, and though he certainly wasn't getting anywhere near Bryant Park with his closetful of cocktail dresses, I don't see why we have to endure another week of doleful Jonathan or Mila the Underminer instead of his joyous self.
I loved this challenge, which did a nearly perfect job in separating the four excellent remaining designers from the three crummy ones. Maya, Seth Aaron, Jay, and horrid Emilio all designed spectacular prints and, except for Jay, extremely interesting outfits. Any one of the three finalists could have won. It is a testament to Emilio's skill that his dress overcame the wretched egomania of his autographed print. But I would have given the crown to Maya, whose dress was, as one of the judges said, like electricity. It was a summer lightning storm in a dress.
Jessica Grose: David, I, too, miss the Magical Elves , the production team they had for PR when it was on Bravo. It was never more apparent than during the first scene with guest judge Vivienne Tam, when they had this one awful voice-over from her shilling for Hewlett Packard and then a harsh cut back to her smiling idiotically.
Hanna Rosin: The HP shilling was OUT OF CONTROL this time. I thought maybe Tim Gunn was going to have HP tattooed on his eyelids by the end.
D: The product placement has gotten so out of hand that I am actually going to tout rival products, just to punish Lifetime. I love the way they designed those dresses on their amazing iPads, powered by AMD chips, and I thought that the Maybelline lipstick worn by Emilio's model was stunning!
H: I actually want to praise the editing of this particular episode. They did a good job of planting confusing hints about who was going to get kicked off, thus creating a little suspense. When we saw Seth Aaron call his (surprisingly normal-looking) family, I was suddenly worried about him. And then Jonathan was sweating and panicky throughout, while Emilio was getting all that bad feedback. I really wasn’t sure whom the gun was pointing at throughout.
D: The Seth Aaron phone call home was a neat bait-and-switch, but I knew it was going nowhere when they made it clear that it was his birthday, and thus deserving of a special phone call, and when Seth Aaron said something to the effect that he would drown his own children in Garnier Fructis conditioner if they interfered with him winning the show.
J: Back to the fashion: I also loved Maya's design, particularly the detailing at the neck. And while Seth Aaron's design was not to my taste, it was incredibly well-made and had a strong point of view.
H: Oh come on, Jess, I saw you sporting a yellow tie just the other day.
D: What did you guys think of Tim's rather cruel takedown of Emilio's print, especially his insinuation that it encoded Seth Aaron's initials? It was the rare moment when Tim looked like a jerk. For all his viciousness, Emilio didn't deserve the derision.
H: I thought the reaction to Emilio's dress was quite interesting. The dress itself was a great juxtaposition of graffiti and vintage cut. But I don't think it's just the garment that they were reacting to. I think they suddenly saw Emilio as a professional who knew how to market himself. Like suddenly they had a vision of ESOSA ripoff handbags being sold on 47th Street 10 years down the road
J: I completely agree that darling Anthony should NOT have gone home. Nina said Jonathan’s outfit looked like a "dirty tablecloth"!
D: Nina's reaction to Jonathan's dress was so striking because it was the only genuine emotion I think we have ever seen from her. You get the sense that Michael Kors and Heidi could be hacked to pieces in front of her and she would merely sigh. But she seemed genuinely heartsick at the fashion crime committed by Jonathan.
H: Let's just re-create the dialogue, because it was so painful and dada:
Nina: "I feel sad"
Jonathan: "Is sad not an emotion?"
J: I liked the 1950s horror movie tableau Michael Kors painted in reference to Jonathan’s disaster: "Your husband helps you back into your straight jacket."
H: Mila has gotten strangely lazy and self-satisfied, but now I bet she is starting to panic. I dread the next episode, because she was already in high evil mode this episode. Next week she will be stealing people's scissors.
D: Which one of the top four won't get to Bryant Park? Seth Aaron is a mortal lock. I think Maya will sneak in too, because they will want to keep a woman. Then it comes down to Emilio versus Jay, and that's tough. I suspect Emilio gets that third spot.
J: I choose Jay over Emilio for Bryant Park—Jay never completely misses, but remember Emilio's pink bikini/washer monstrosity ?
H: I bet they let all four of them go.
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